Self-proclaimed “technology innovation and licensing company” WiLAN, billed as a notorious patent troll by most anyone else (and often, much worse), this morning announced that it has initiated litigation against Apple, Dell, HP, HTC, Kyocera, Alcatel-Lucent, Novatel and Sierra Wireless America.
In an extraordinary twist, but actually the complete opposite of that, litigation was commenced in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division, which is known to favor plaintiffs and for its general expertise in patent-related lawsuits.
Last year, WiLAN made headlines here on TechCrunch already by suing just about every portable devices vendor over a patent related to Bluetooth technology – defendants included Apple, Sony, Toshiba, Dell, LG, Intel, Texas Instruments, Acer and Motorola.
Last week, the company launched a hostile takeover bid for fellow patent troll MOSAID, stating an intention to make an all-cash offer to acquire all the outstanding common shares of its patent-licensing rival for approximately C$480 million (roughly $491 million).
Ottawa-based WiLAN has about 800 patents, covering mostly wireless tech, while MOSAID has a larger patent portfolio of 2,822 patents and applications covering semiconductor and telecommunications technologies. Just yesterday, MOSAID announced that it has acquired 2,000+ Nokia patents, expanding its portfolio even more.
Guess what will happen when that merger – currently under review – actually happens? Shudder.
Updated: the complaint, embedded below:
WiLAN was founded in 1992 to commercialize technology inventions that made low-cost, high-speed wireless networking a reality. Used in several generations of proprietary products manufactured by WiLAN and other products offered by industry, these inventions were, by 2005, commercialized in millions of wireless networking devices worth many billions of dollars. Realizing the value that its intellectual property brought to industry, WiLAN chose in 2006 to focus its business on developing, protecting and monetizing patented inventions.